Presidential Statement Endorses Intergovernmental Authority’s High-Level Revitalization Forum on Peace Accord
After extending the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until 15 March 2018, the Security Council today endorsed a new initiative to revitalize the stalled peace plan for the strife-torn country.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2392 (2017), the 15‑member organ authorized the Mission to use all necessary means to carry out its tasks as set out in resolution 2327 (2016), which had extended its mandate through 15 December 2017 (see Press Release SC/12634). The Secretary-General’s most recent report on UNMISS (document S/2017/1011) recommended that the mandate be extended for two months, awaiting the completion of an ongoing strategic review of operations.
After the adoption, Yasuhisa Kawamura (Japan), Council President for December, read out a statement in support of a High-Level Revitalization Forum sponsored by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to be convened by the end of December.
By the statement, the Council, acknowledging that the conflict in South Sudan continued to cause great suffering, expressed deep regret that the parties had not heeded its calls for a permanent ceasefire or unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance. It demanded that all parties immediately do so and, noting the Government’s ceasefire initiative, called for it to stand by its ceasefire and for the opposition to reciprocate.
In addition, the Council cited findings that the parties had failed to implement important elements of their peace accord, known as the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, and that conditions for credible elections did not presently exist.
The Council therefore strongly supported the convening of an inclusive Forum as proposed by IGAD to get the Agreement back on track and aim for substantive progress on the initiative when it convenes at the end of December. For that purpose, it called for strong, coordinated, and cohesive regional support. Meaningful participation of women, youth and the broader South Sudanese civil society should be ensured, it added.
The Council strongly urged all parties to engage constructively in the process without preconditions. As a first priority and a sign of commitment, the Council called on all parties to end hostilities as they had pledged.
Referring to a briefing received from IGAD Special Envoy Ismail Wais on pre‑Forum consultations, the Council also urged the parties to agree to an implementation timeline, monitored arrangements to stop the conflict, steps to improve the human rights and humanitarian situation, inclusive governance arrangements and a political process with an agreed path to viable elections.
The Council further urged the parties to agree on strong monitoring and enforcement mechanisms for whatever was agreed through the Forum, to ensure that “there is cost and consequence for those who violate the agreement”.
Calling on the Government of South Sudan to honour its commitment to cooperating fully with UNMISS and condemning actions against United Nations and humanitarian workers and civilians, the Council highlighted the UNMISS mandate to investigate abuses of human rights and humanitarian law. It reiterated that perpetrators of violations must be held accountable.
The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:15 p.m.
The full text of resolution 2392 (2017) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions 1996 (2011), 2046 (2012), 2057 (2012), 2109 (2013), 2132 (2013), 2155 (2014), 2187 (2014), 2206 (2015), 2223 (2015), 2241 (2015), 2252 (2015), 2302 (2016), 2304 (2016) and 2327 (2016), and statements by its President S/PRST/2014/16, S/PRST/2014/26, S/PRST/2015/9, S/PRST/2016/1, S/PRST/2016/3 and S/PRST/2017/4,
“Determining that the situation in South Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), as set out in resolution 2327 (2016), until 15 March 2018, and authorizes UNMISS to use all necessary means to carry out its tasks;
“2. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2017/25 reads as follows:
“As the conflict in South Sudan enters its fifth year, the Security Council expresses continuing deep concern at the political, security, humanitarian, human rights, and economic situation in South Sudan and is deeply concerned about the actions of all parties to the conflict that are perpetuating this, with 7.6 million people now in need of aid, 4 million displaced and 6 million lacking enough food to feed themselves. The Security Council deeply regrets that the parties have not fully taken the steps called for in the Security Council’s 23 March 2017 presidential statement (document S/PRST/2017/4), most notably the adherence to the permanent ceasefire and allowing the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need, and demands that all parties immediately do so. The Security Council takes note of the ceasefire initiative by the Government, calls on the Government to adhere to its ceasefire, and urges the opposition to reciprocate.
“The Security Council takes note of the September 2017 mid-term implementation status report of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission and its findings that the parties to the conflict have failed to implement substantive elements of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (the Agreement), and that conditions for credible elections do not presently exist.
“The Security Council expresses its strong support for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) High-Level Revitalization Forum for the Agreement and looks forward to the convening and full inclusivity of such a forum and substantive progress on the initiative by the end of December. The initiative will need strong, coordinated, and cohesive regional support and the Security Council urges IGAD to continue efforts in this vein. The Security Council strongly urges all parties to engage constructively in the process to revitalize the Agreement, underlines that no party should set pre-conditions to participation, and that there must be cost and consequences for those who undermine the HLRF process. The IGAD High-Level Revitalization Forum should be truly inclusive, in particular with meaningful participation of women, youth, and the broader South Sudanese civil society. The Security Council takes note of the African Union Peace and Security Council’s communique of 20 September 2017 and agrees that the IGAD High-Level Revitalization Forum is a unique window of opportunity, but equally a last chance for the parties to achieve sustainable peace and stability in South Sudan. The Security Council also takes note of other potentially complementary regional initiatives.
“The Security Council welcomes the briefing by IGAD Special Envoy Ismail Wais on the report of the pre-Forum consultations on the High-Level Revitalization Forum and his briefing on the important and constructive contributions made by a diverse range of South Sudanese stakeholders as summarized therein, and fully supports his role in the process. As a first priority, the Security Council calls upon all parties to end hostilities as a sign of commitment to the High-Level Revitalization Forum — as they have pledged to do. Given the briefing by the IGAD Special Envoy the Security Council further urges the parties to agree to monitored, effective, and durable security arrangements to stop the conflict; specific steps to improve the human rights and humanitarian situation, including safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors; the governance arrangements so that all voices in South Sudan are represented; a political process that produces an agreed path to viable elections, including improved security; and timelines for the implementation schedule of the Agreement to reflect the need for a conducive environment for post-transition elections. The Security Council further urges the parties to agree on strong monitoring and enforcement mechanisms so that whatever is agreed through the High-Level Revitalization Forum is able to be effectively implemented, and there is cost and consequence for those who violate the Agreement.
“The Security Council reminds the Government of South Sudan of its stated commitment to cooperating fully with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and calls on the Government to honor that commitment. The Security Council notes with deep concern the continuing obstacles that hinder the delivery of vital lifesaving assistance to the South Sudanese people; the Council condemns attacks on national and international humanitarian personnel and compounds, and actions by all parties which have targeted United Nations and humanitarian workers.
“The Security Council condemns all instances of attacks against civilians and the military use of hospitals and schools, and recalls that the UNMISS mandate includes monitoring, investigating, verifying, and reporting publicly and regularly on abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including those that may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity. The Security Council reiterates that perpetrators of violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights must be held accountable, in order to break the prevailing cycle of impunity.”